Massachusetts has ordered the shutdown of every indoor ice skating facility in the state for two weeks in response to several COVID-19 clusters linked to ice hockey games and practices.
The order includes the Dorothy Talbot Rink on the campus of O'Maley Innovation Middle School, 32 Cherry St. The rink is home to Gloucester High Fishermen Boy's Hockey, Rockport High Vikings Hockey, O'Maley Middle School Hockey, Cape Ann Youth Hockey, Cape Ann Figure Skating Club, and Shoreline Skating Club.
The order took effect Friday at 5 p.m. and lasts until Nov. 7, the state Department of Public Health announced.
The rink reopened on Sept. 8 to the Cape Ann Figure Skating Club, various local youth hockey organizations, local Men's Hockey nights, and preseason workouts for the local high and middle schools, according to the city website. It was not open to the public, although this was being evaluated on a monthly basis.
There have been at least 30 clusters of COVID-19 associated with organized ice hockey activities involving residents from more than 60 cities and towns in the state, the department said.
Each includes two or more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, for a total of 108 confirmed cases.
“This pause will allow for the development of stronger COVID-19 protocols to further protect players, families, coaches, arena staff and other participants, as well as communities surrounding hockey rinks," the agency said in a statement.
College and professional programs are exempt from the order.